Wanting something to call their own, three friends with entrepreneurial spirits saw an opportunity when GetintheLoop’s Fort McMurray franchise became available for purchase. Sean knew the brand from previously living in Kelowna and he saw how it had potential in his new home town of Fort Mac. When Nate headed to Kelowna for a wedding, Sean encouraged him to download the app and check it out, and Nate was instantly hooked, using the app to take his children to places in the city he hadn’t heard of, and at reduced rates!
The friends recognized that this was something that Fort McMurray was missing. With downtown businesses struggling, Sean says he saw how GetintheLoop could bridge a gap of awareness in the local market. “Essentially customers can, through the app, see inside a store that they wouldn't otherwise know about it.” Nate agreed, pointing out that downtown businesses in Fort Mac had been struggling lately, so by bringing in this new app, they are hoping to boost local business for the small guy.
Weighing up the risks and rewards, Sean, Nate and Scott knew that with GetintheLoop’s success in other markets, and their hard work ethic, they could make it just as successful in Fort McMurray. With no overheads needed, just sweat equity as Sean put, they could see that the potential rewards from this venture were unlimited.
After attending Loop University in September, the trio headed back to Fort McMurray excited to hit the ground running, targeting their ‘wish-lists’ of businesses first. With GetintheLoop’s market development team on location, taking them door-to-door with tried and tested sales techniques, they had all the tools needed to succeed.
The fact that GetintheLoop was not yet a well-known brand name in Alberta proved to be no problem for Sean, Nate and Scott. They quickly discovered that they were natural salesmen, and by simply talking to businesses, educating them on changing consumer behaviours and smartphone usage, they were able to get businesses excited to part of something new, and something big.
The first Fort McMurray sale of GetintheLoop happened almost immediately after the franchise agreement was signed, and was a joint effort between Sean, Nate, Scott, and the corporate office. Knowing that Kelowna’s Orchard Park Mall was on the app, the team approached Peter Pond Mall, a two level centre with over 70 retailers located in the central business district. Scott explains how their efforts combined with a little help from corporate office landed them this big fish. “The owners of that mall also own the mall in Kelowna, so they actually got in touch with the corporate office and signed onto the platform for a year. Having Peter Pond on the app from day one provided the reassurance to other businesses that we were legitimate, and we were going to be able to attract lots of app downloads right off the bat with a host of neat offers from the mall.”
It’s only took a couple of weeks after Loop U for more sales to come rolling in, and after that, momentum continued to build. Expertly juggling big pushes for new businesses with social media blitzes to drive more app downloads, it didn’t take the team long to find their rhythm. “Businesses are now approaching us, and consumers are downloading the app” reveals Sean. “We’ve built our own little ecosystem up here, our own mobile community! It only took 4 months to get 50 businesses on board which blew our targets out of the water!”
While sales came easily to these gents, they found the servicing-side of the businesses to be the more challenging aspect. Maintaining relevant offers on the site at all times is critical to keep consumers using the app, and this is where the corporate office support was invaluable for Sean, Nate and Scott with help on everything from creating offers, to best practices on social media. Rising to the challenge, the team learned all they needed to know, and have found themselves settled into an easy routine of scheduling calls with customers, testing different offers on the platform, and finding what works for each business.
For this team, their goal is for GetintheLoop to be the number one source for information in Fort Mac, the app everyone turns to for any information on what’s going on in Fort Mac, and they are well on their way there!
Want to read more about the Fort McMurray team? Download the free case study here.